Toronto Maple Leafs Jason Spezza says coach Sheldo

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Toronto Maple Leafs Jason Spezza says coach Sheldo

If there was any lingering doubt about whether Sheldon Keefe would or could deliver a pointed me sage to his team, there is not any more.Trailing 3-0 to the Edmonton Oilers on Monday after allowing two goals in the first 1:45 of the second period following a first period in which they were outshot 17-11, the Toronto Maple Leafs coach was swift in removing goalie Frederik Andersen from the net. After the game, the coach made it abundantly clear what led to the somewhat surprising decision.I just told our team I'm not going to let Freddie play behind that. That's not fair to him. To that point I felt like he already had almost a full game worth of work, Keefe said after the 6-4 lo s. We made the change sometimes you make those changes and it gets your team's attention. I had to do something such as that to get our team's attention and to save Freddie from what was happening. We had no i sue with anything that he was doing in the net.Kailer keeps Brandon Wilson Jersey 'em coming. That's three points in four games since his recall. | Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) Keefe could have responded to the question of why he pulled Andersen far more diplomatically by offering platitudes like I was just looking to spark our team or I felt it was the right decision at the time to the media, but he was as direct as he could be.Words like not going to let Freddie play behind that and save Freddie from what was happening? Thats about as strong a me sage as a coach can send. To put it bluntly, Keefe e sentially said the team blew the game in front of Andersen, that they played horrendously and that they better get their act together. He is not wrong, but to hear a coach deliver the me sage in the way Keefe did was eye opening if for no other reason than Keefe has been painted with a reputation of giving the players what they want since on November 20.It was the type of me sage that would surely grab the attention of the players. The question is how would the me sage be taken? Well, it sounds like it was well received.Sheldons earned our respect. He delivers an honest me sage in between periods and in between games and when you get honesty all the time, youre allowed to step out and give a (crap) when we need it, Jason Spezza told Sporting News. Hes earned our respect and wed expect nothing le s. It was a fair me sage. Freddie has been our backbone all year and we didnt have a very good game in front of him and he was sending us a me sage by pulling Freddie. It had le s to do with Freddie and more to do with us and that was crystal clear to us.Keefe has made a point Ja'Marr Chase Jersey since his tenure began of making sure to create moments for players in situations that are important to them. He started Spezza on December 23rd against the Carolina Hurricanes an afternoon game in which Keefe knew Spezzas four daughters were all in attendance. They got to hear their dad announced in the starting lineup and watch him score 30 seconds into the game.Great one for Spezza to get here x Omar (@TicTacTOmar) There have been other examples. Justin Holl, a Minnesota native, was in the starting lineup when Cam Sample Jersey the Maple Leafs visited the Wild last week. Same for Adam Brooks, a Winnipeg native, two nights later on the road against the Jets.The way Keefe sees it, if the players feel its a two-way street, they are more likely to take a stern me sage when it needs to be delivered.Thats why things we do to try to create an environment where players are comfortable coming here and things are done to recognize situations that are important for specific players, those type of things make them recognize we are in it with them so that when there is a time that you have to make a decision that shocks the system, they take it the right way and recognize that it is done with the right intent, Keefe said.So even though the Maple Leafs were on a 10-game point streak (9-0-1) and had won three in a row prior to Monday's lo s, Keefes most pointed criticism since becoming coach because of a poor first 22 minutes against the Oilers seems to have been taken the right way.I dont think there is any offense taken, captain John Tavares said. We have to challenge ourselves every day to get better and not to be satisfied with the results or think things are going to continue to come. Its because of good habits and work ethic and structure were playing with that brings out the best in all of us, especially with what Sheldon has brought to the table in terms of how he wants us to play. You have to have pride in doing that every single day but certainly he feels its important when he starts to see that slip to addre s it which I think is great. Its pretty clear that we just werent even close to good enough. Its unfair to Freddie and what hes brought to the team every single day so it was a very strong me sage and very clear.Alternate captain Morgan Rielly, who was on the ice for Jalen Davis Jersey two of the Oilers first three goals, had no problem accepting the reasoning for Andersen getting the hook either.It just means we have to be better," Rielly said. "Freddie has been outstanding for us all year and the expectation is we are going to compete and play hard for him and that obviously wasnt the case early on in the game so he did what he thought was right and I agree with him."Defenseman Travis Dermott said not only did the me sage got his attention on the bench, but that he hopes it serves as a reminder going forward as to where the fault lied against the Oilers.It opened up my eyes that we kind of screwed this game up for Freddie. I think it was good call by him," Dermott Jackson Carman Jersey said. "I havent seen it too often where you are pulling the goalie because of that but when you think about it makes a lot of sense. The goals they were scoring, Freddie couldnt do much about a lot of them. Thats where this me sage comes into mind where if you are letting it slide and not really thinking about what kind of opportunities they were getting, its not easy to forget about it but you can think, oh the whole team isnt playing well but this slowed us down and made us realize we were really throwing Freddie under the bus.Keefe said he met with Andersen in his office prior to practice on Tuesday to make sure he had fully communicated the reasoning behind the decision to remove him from the game. Andersen was visibly angry on the bench, slamming his helmet down as he left the ice and still appeared edgy after the game. On Tuesday, Andersen made clear he was not angry at Keefe for pulling him but more so with the how the game had gone to that point.Freddie frustrated after the pull and Sheldon Keefe comes over to talk to him Omar (@TicTacTOmar) That type of communication has gone a long way with the players and has given Keefe the ability to drop the hammer when a me sage needs to be sent.Im happy they feel tha
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